While thousands of children feel like rejects, the schools sit pretty, at least for another year, on US News & World's Report's "Best Colleges List" which helped start the University Arms Race funnily enough during the height of the Cold War in 1983 by being the first to start ranking universities. University chancellors and deans were horrified at the time, begging the newspaper to stop its list, but eventually they adopted "if you can't beat them, join them approach", becoming as corporate as they could in the quest for more consumers, oops, students.
But okay let's look at these low admittance rates, the Ivies' bragging rights, what's being touted. Let's break them down. For example, the official rate at Harvard 'there-is-a-place-for-you' University is 5.2% which equals 2,037 students. Out of that, it's feasible that around 1000 are those who didn't make the grade the year prior, but since they are full payers, hey-ho, bargains are made and deals struck, to defer enrollment for the following year. So this immediately brings the number of available slots down to 1,937. Now approximately 1,000 of those spots will be taken by legacies, alumni's children, or big-donor children. Yes, it could be as high as 1,000. If Harvard or Stanford, Columbia, Yale or Princeton want to provide a more accurate account, then please share.
So instead of the headline 2,037 number of students accepted, the true figure is more like 937 once you strip out deferments, legacies and donors. Less than a 1,000 spots were actually even open in the regular admissions process in which, don't forget, quotas must be met on race, sex, gender and of course geography. How else to brag on press releases about incoming students coming from all 50 states as well as overseas? This, from a pool of 39,000 applications. That 'New York Times' columnist joking about Stanford's admission rate of 0 wasn't really joking after all.
None of the Ivies wanted to discuss this with me, and you can see why as it shows just how ridiculous and absurd the higher education process has become and makes a farce of all their talk of inclusivity. It also shows what big business it's become and in the worst possible way, too, by peddling dreams and fantasies to children, knowing full well the majority won't make the cut and knowing that this works exactly to their advantage. You'd see their Arms Race, their Hunger Games, end really quickly if just a fraction of students refuse to play anymore by just not applying in the first place.
Worth the stress? Be sure to shave a couple of percentage points off each college's 'official admittance rate' and now look at your child's chances. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/04/01/applied-to-stanford-or-harvard-you-probably-didnt-get-in-admit-rates-drop-again/#rates